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Difference Between Wet and Dry Flies

Wet vs Dry Flies

If you are just a newbie when it comes to fly fishing, then choosing the right fly or bait that you can use might prove to be a lot harder than you think. There are two main types of flies that are used in fly fishing, and they are the wet and dry flies. Understanding the difference between the two might help you in making your first fishing experience more enjoyable.

Wet and dry flies are both flies that are used in fly fishing. Most fly fishermen agree that the success on getting a big catch can sometimes depend on the type of fly that you are using and the technique that you are familiar with. While these two types of flies can both resemble insects (in varying stages of their life), there is a slight difference on how they are used in catching fish.

Wet flies are the types of flies that resemble insects (includes the insect’s nymph stage and the like) beneath the water’s surface. These flies usually go with the current and act as if they were drowned insects that fell in the water. Some of these flies are even designed to sink all the way to the bottom or as far as the line can permit them. Of course, there are some techniques that you can use to make them more enticing to ensure that the fish will be impressed enough to take a bite.

Dry flies, on the other hand, are flies that resemble insects that are “floating in the water” or have just fallen on the water’s surface. Anglers, who use this type of flies, often choose the season (summer) in which insects are plentiful. These flies are sometimes oiled or given “miscellaneous items” (example: feathers, hairs, etc.) to make them float. Some anglers attest that this type of fly is challenging and requires a certain amount of skill to make it appear more realistic.

Experienced anglers usually choose their flies depending on the season, weather, and the location on where they are going to fish. Even if it is just a small river or a lake, the type of fly that one is going to use will increase their chances of landing a good catch.

Looking at the water’s surface can also help you understand the current feeding habits of fish in the area. If you don’t see any fish feeding on the surface of the water, then that means that they are feeding underwater. In this case, it is best to use a wet fly to use the situation to your advantage. Most wet fly fishers use multiple flies on their lines to increase the chances of luring fish. If the fish are feeding on the water’s surface, then using a dry fly will work in your favor perfectly.

While these two flies are often used separately, there are anglers who prefer to use both of them at the same time. This is an interesting form of fly fishing because no matter what type of fish is out there, they are bound to take a bite sooner or later (that is if the fly is good enough to bite).


1.Wet flies are flies that resemble insects beneath the water’s surface. Dry flies are flies that resemble insects that are floating on the water’s surface.
2.When the fish are feeding underwater, using a wet fly can give you an advantage. When the fish are feeding on the water’s surface, then using a dry fly will work in your favor.
3.While both flies are often used separately, there are anglers who prefer to use both of them at the same time.

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  1. I’ve been fly fishing for 5 years. I am able to go 2 times a year. I wish I had this clear, simplified explanation when I started.
    Do you know of a good working chart that clearly identify the type of trout, relates the situation (time of day / season / conditions) with pictures or good illustrations? Then relate them to the type of fly (pictured) to be used for that insect at that time of development.

  2. It is actually a nice and helpful piece of information. I am satisfied that you just shared this helpful information with us.
    Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thank you for this information, as a beginner and just starting out fly fishing this is helpful.

  4. excellent points altogether, you simply gained a brand new reader.
    What could you suggest about your submit that you just
    made some days ago? Any certain?

  5. Thank you for the info to an newbie, to fly fishing.

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